Aplinist & Adventurer
Citizenship: Canadian & Polish
Urszula Tokarska is an adventurer, alpinist, designer and artist. In 2005, after a successful second bid to reach the summit of Mount Everest, she became the first Canadian woman to climb the “Seven Summits” (the highest peak on each continent).
In addition to her enthusiasm for mountaineering, Urszula is an avid diver, hiker, kayaker, skier and marathon runner. No stranger to the life-and-death risks of extreme weather, altitude and environments, Urszula has relied on her survival and rescue skills on more than one occasion.
Urszula’s climbing experience in Alaska, the Yukon, and Antarctica has sparked a strong passion for Arctic and polar environments. High on her “next adventure” list is a solo unsupported expedition to the North Pole – a journey that becomes more uncertain each year as global warming puts the prospect of ski/sled travel at risk. With this goal in mind, she has already trained in navigation, route finding, and open water swimming in Frobisher Bay, Nunavut in winter conditions experiencing temperatures as low as –50 degrees Celsius.
Urszula was born in Slupsk, Poland, where art was her solace from the pressures of growing up on the “other” side of the Cold War. Her adventurous and tenacious spirit developed at a young age. She trained as industrial designer and sculptor and in 1988 she immigrated on her own to Canada. She is an award-winning architectural designer and a founding member of SRPA, a multidisciplinary practice based in Toronto.
Urszula looks forward to participating in all aspects of the Sedna Epic Expedition and will keep an art journal to illustrate team’s effort and create a portrait of the Arctic and Inuit communities. As a strong advocate of women not letting anything stand in the way of their dreams, Urszula’s story has inspired many and has been featured in major Canadian media outlets and publications. Her public speaking experience extends to a wide range of audiences – from young women to corporate executives. She was one of 50 distinguished speakers from around the world selected to speak at the renowned Idea City conference in 2006.